About roddavis1947

I’m a third generation minister of the Gospel who has walked with the Lord since 1959. In 1975 I answered the call to the pulpit ministry. Since then I’ve been a worship leader, a pastor, a chaplain, and a televangelist. I’ve preached in jails, auditoriums, churches, and at music festivals. I work in radio for nearly 35 years. You name it I did it—DJ, Operations Manager, writing and producing commercials. In addition, I have had the privilege of serving at 5 different Christian radio stations since the late 70’s. Last of which was as the chaplain at J103 Radio (CCM) in Chattanooga, TN ─ www.j103.com. I’m the head of SoaringWings Ministries, which includes a website, SoarwingsWings Ministries and an online teaching ministries on my YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/chaplainrod825 and a blog—The Mad Preacher. All of which can be accessed through www.soaringwings.us. I have written and published a new book entitled, The Wrong Skirt, which is available where books are sold and I’m working on two more. I’m a sold out follower of Jesus. He’s my best friend, my savior and Lord. I hate old sale religion. At one time I was steeped in denominational worship and religious pride but now I’m free. At the present I use my experiences and my knowledge of God’s Word to help others to become free.

Growing Up

manbaby-20150717141653_jpg~q75,dx720y432u1r1gg,c--By The Mad Preacher

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)

Some time ago I was going to Tennessee Wesleyan College where I was working on a pre-seminary degree. One day I was talking to a good friend, who was also a pastor. As pastors often do, we were discussing the activities of the preceding Sunday, while waiting for class to begin.

“What did you preach about Sunday?” I asked.

“Well,” he said. “I started off by asking my congregation a question,” he responded.

“What was the question?” I inquired.

“I asked them, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’”

I nearly spit my teeth out when I heard that! I couldn’t believe his boldness (or rudeness, depending on your point of view) in saying such a thing. However, later that day, I began to ponder that question. I smiled to myself at the audacity of my friend, but soon my amusement turned to intrigue. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” he had asked. Then I took it a step further and considered, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” It was a provocative question, considering at the time, that I was a man in my late thirties. I had already grown up…or had I?

 “…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

That Hebrew word for “hope” or “wait”(KJV) means, “to wait or look eagerly for.” In other words it is to “wait in hopeful anticipation.” Among other things, the word for “renew” means to “grow up.” For most of us, waiting is not a pleasant thing to do. In this day of microwave ovens and instant coffee we’re not used to waiting. It takes patience and we don’t like to be patient. Nevertheless that’s part of the process. Hopeful anticipation involves time and, after all, who has time these days. However, we must learn to wait on God. This is if we want to become stronger—if we want to grow up.

One of the greatest revelations I can remember having is this, “God is good all the time.” So if God is good all the time, then it stands to reason that everything that He does or permits to happen in our lives is ultimately for our good. God is trying to teach us something. It’s what he has always tried to teach his people―to trust Him. He’s trying to bring us to a place where He has our absolute trust. Then, and only then, will He reveal himself to us.

Consider this, if you will? You’re not going to share your deepest secrets with someone who doesn’t trust you, are you? Of course not, and neither will God. Mutual trust is paramount to making a relationship work—to making it grow. Therefore, waiting leads to hope and hope leads to intimacy and intimacy leads to growth. And it all starts with waiting. Just remember this. The Sovereign Lord is on the throne, and he doesn’t let us down. Just trust Him to do what He wants to do in your life—to help you grow up.

don’t mean maybe. He sampled solid foods once or twice, But he says doctrine leaves

So… what do you want to be when

I know a man, maybe you know him, too.                                                                                  You never can tell; he might even be you.                                                                                    He knelt at the altar, and that was the end.                                                                                He’s saved, and that’s all that matters to him.

His spiritual tummy, it can’t take too much.                                                                                   One day a week, he gets a spiritual lunch.                                                                                   On Sunday, he puts on his spiritual best,                                                                                    And gives his language a spiritual rest.

He’s just a faaa… He’s just a fat little baby! Wa, wa, waaaaa…. He wants his bottle, and he him cold as ice. Ba, ba, ba, ba…ba, ba…ba, ba!

He’s been baptized, sanctified, redeemed by the blood,                                                          But his daily devotions are stuck in the mud. He knows the books of the Bible and John  3:16.  He’s got the biggest King James you’ve ever seen!

I’ve always wondered if he’ll grow up someday.                                                                     He’s momma’s boy, and he likes it that way.                                                                                 If you happen to see him, tell him I said,                                                                                  “He’ll never grow, if he never gets fed.”

He’s just a fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fa-at, fat… Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fa-at, Fat… FAT, FAT, FAT, FAT, FAT, FAT, FAAAAAT… little baby. [1]

[1] Fat Baby by Amy Grant from her album, Age to Age ©1982 WORD

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Tall Tales and End-time Preachers

end-timeline_med_hr-mid_med_hrBy The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2Timothy 4:3-4 NIV)

I was standing in front of the church building one Sunday evening after the meeting. I listened as two of my fellow members were debating end-times. One was pre-millennial, the belief that the church will be raptured before a proposed seven years of tribulation taking place before Christ sets up his so-called thousand year reign on the earth. The other was post-millennial. He believed that the church will be raptured after said tribulation period. The debate was friendly but a bit fiery.

Suddenly, one of them turned to me. “What do you think, brother Rod?” Everyone within earshot turned their eyes toward me. I felt like E. F. Hutton from those old TV commercials. Two guys would be discussing the stock market. Then one would say, “Well, E. F. Hutton says…” Everyone around them would stop what they were doing and lean toward them to listen to what the man was about to say. I was one of the pastors and they wanted to know my thoughts on the matter. “No,” I said, “you don’t want to know my opinion on this subject.”

“Oh, yes I do.” he persisted.

“No, you don’t,” I said.

“Yes, I do.” they both answered.

I was trying to keep from being drawn into another fruitless, end-times debate. Because if I gave them my opinion, which differed from both of theirs, that’s exactly what would happen. So instead of answering, I issued them a simple challenge. “I will give you one thousand dollars cash money,” I said, “if you can show me anywhere in the New Testament that teaches that Jesus is coming back to the Earth, set up a kingdom in Jerusalem and rule there for a thousand years.” I paused and then continued, “It’s just not there!

I have issued that challenge many times over the years and have never had to give a penny to anyone. Nobody has met that challenge and I’m confident that no one ever will. It’s because God’s Word does not teach that Jesus is coming back to the Earth to set up a kingdom in Jerusalem and rule there for a thousand years. Yet many preach it, write books about it, hold Revelation seminars about it and make movies about it. There’s even a video game based on the popular Left Behind series [which the books have sold over 60 million books].

 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.                (Revelation 22:18 NIV)

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6 NIV)

Many have taken verses out of context and tried to spin them to fit their particular point of view on the subject. They’ve taken the Biblical apocalyptic writings of The Revelation of Jesus Christ and the book of Daniel and made absurd, unfounded assumptions to support their claims about the Lord’s return. I remember hearing one such preacher say from the pulpit, “Why… during the thousand year reign of Christ there are going to be grapes so big that you have to use a wheelbarrow to carry just one.” Talk about people who “turn aside to myths”.

However, nowhere in the Bible does it clearly teach that Jesus is coming back to set up a throne in Jerusalem and reign for a thousand years. Again, it’s not there! Then the obvious question is, if The Bible doesn’t teach it why preach it? Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is, or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”    (Luke 17:20-21 NIV)

Sadly many once-great Gospel preachers have become bogged down by their fixation on end-times. It shows in the things they teach and the books they write. Their focus seems only on events surrounding the Lord’s return and their particular slant on it. To them preaching the gospel has been relegated to second or third priority in their so-called “ministry”. They’re more interested in preaching and teaching about Jesus’ second coming than they are about his first.

“…many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” —Jesus (Matthew 24:11)

“The future is big business.” — Hal Lindsey[1] (Author of The Late Great Planet Earth in which he claimed that the world would end in 1988. Then in an “updated” version of the book he said that it will end in 2007. Woops! Wrong again, Hal. Isn’t that the definition of a false prophet, to predict something will happen and it doesn’t happen?????)

“No one knows about that day or hour [when Jesus returns], not even the angels            in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” ― Jesus (Mark 13:32 NIV)

“Naturally men were anxious to know when that day would come. Jesus himself had bluntly said that no man knew when that day or hour would be, that even he did not know and only God knew (Mark 13:32, Mathew 24:36, Acts 1:7). But that did not stop people from speculating about it, as indeed they still do, although it is surely almost blasphemous that men seek for knowledge which was denied even to Jesus.” ― William Barclay[2]

Why do people, like Hal Lindsey, and Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins [authors of the popular Left Behind books] persist on writing these books rather than offering practical books that discuss the Christian walk, such as how to win souls and how to live victoriously? I believe the answer is simple; Practical books don’t sale like books of tall-tales. As Hal said, “The future is big business.”

Apparently these end-times preachers have forgotten the words of one of the greatest preachers who ever graced this planet. Look as the Apostle Paul clearly gives us not only his secret to success in ministry but also his uncompromising message that led to that success.

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1Corinthians 2:1-5 NIV)

“Whatever subject I preach, I do not stop until I reach the Savior, the Lord Jesus, for in him are all things.” — Charles Spurgeon[3]

These self-proclaimed experts, with their end-time charts and books of fables, thrive because of the Biblical ignorance of this vast following of end-time junkies. Most of these junkies have very little personal theology of their own. Their view of most things Christian is not based on individual Bible study and prayer. Their understanding of end-times comes only from what they hear and see from these conveyors of myths.

They suffer from a baby bird mentality—eyes closed, mouth open. They believe what they hear without question. They just open up their spirits and swallow whatever these spinners of yarns put in them. After all, it’s much more fascinating and entertaining then what they perceive as dull sermons or books about winning souls and how to be more affective as a Christian.

This fixation on end-times is a hugely successful ploy by the Enemy. Not only does it distract once-great Gospel preachers from preaching “Jesus Christ and him crucified”, it also stumps the growth of those Christians who join them in their obsession. Financial and human resources are wasted—resources that could be used to win souls and equip God’s people for service. So, I say to all you end-time preachers, “Shame on you!”

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”— Jesus (Revelation 2:4-5 NIV)

 Obey the Lord! Repent and do the things you did before. That is before you got carried away and turned “aside to myths”. Focus on the needs of the people today instead of trying to second-guess God about that which 1Thessalonians 5:1-2 says, “Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (NIV)

 [1] Quoted in “Welcome to America’s wildest holy rollers,” Features Section, The Independent on Sunday (London, England) (November 6, 2005). “The Late, Great Planet Earth was published in 1970 by Zondervan. It became a bestseller. It has since been published in 54 languages, has reported sales of over 35 million copies, and is still in print. Many of Lindsey’s later writings are sequels or revisions [because he was wrong about nearly everything he wrote in the first addition and, consequently, had to change his predictions] and extensions of his first book.” There’s an excellent article pointing all the errors in Linsey’s book. It’s entitled The Late Great Planet Earth: Revisited, go to http://home.comcast.net/~webpages54/ap/ap.html and click Eschatology link in the left side of the Home Page.

[2] At the Last Trumpet, chapter 32, p. 63, Like a Thief in the Night by William Barclay, © Westminster John Knox Press

[3] Retrieved from ChristianQuotes.org on January 01, 2009

Do I have the right to be angry?

Giving up my rightBy The Mad Preacher

Listen as we hear two Christians having a discussion. One is upset about a wrong that was done to them:

“Don’t I have the right to be angry about what someone did to me?”

“No you don’t.”

“What do you mean? What they did offended me. I’m very hurt and angry! They deeply hurt me.  Don’t I have the right to be angry with them?”

“No you don’t.”

“Why do you keep saying that? It’s very clear that what they did was wrong and I have the right to express my anger at them.”

“No you don’t.”

Why?!

“Are you a follower of Jesus? Did you give him your life?

“Ah…yes. I did.”

“Then you have no rights. You gave up your personal rights when you surrendered your life to the Lordship of Christ. This is especially true when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Unlike the world we are followers of Jesus, servants of Christ and royal ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. Let me ask you a question.”

“Okay.”

“Didn’t Paul say in Galatians 2:20 , ‘I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.’?”

“Ah… yes. Where’s this going?”

“You’ll see in a moment. And did Paul also say in Romans 5:5-7 ‘For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin [the sinful nature] might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.’”?

“Yes…”

“Then, what rights does a dead person have? He’s dead! We don’t have the right to hold someone accountable for their sin against us or we may be accountable to God for our forgiveness. Micah 7:19 says, ‘You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.’ You see, we’re not accountable for someone’s actions but we are accountable for our RE-actions.

“The Apostle Paul said in Colossians 3:13, ‘Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’ So, this is our standard, ‘Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’ When God forgives us he gives us a clean slate and that’s how we must treat anyone who have offended us.

“Paul went to say in Ephesians 4:32, ‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’

“Are you following me? I’m being clear?”

“Yes, so far…”

“Good. Sometimes my tongue gets wrapped around my eye tooth and I can’t see what I saying. Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15, ‘For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’ This is one of the qualities that set Christians apart from this fallen, sick society that we live in.

“Please, read this passage to me here in Philippians 2”

“Okay…

5 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset [attitude] as Christ Jesus:

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless [before others] and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

“You see, Jesus became a servant for us. He could have been anything he wanted to be but he chose a life of servitude. He said in Matthew 20:28, ‘…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many…’ You see, he threw away his rights as the Son of God. Should be not we willing, as servant of Jesus, to do the same.

Once again Colossians 3:13 says, ‘Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Hitting the Wall ― The Popeye Syndrome

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day―and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV)

There’s a phrase that runners use to describe what happens to them between the Tired Runnereighteenth and twenty-fifth mile of a marathon. During a marathon, runners often run out of fuel or energy. This takes place when their body exhausts all its carbohydrate fuel and starts burning fat for energy instead. This is commonly called muscle fatigue. When this happens many begin to lag behind in the slow lane instead of going at their usual top speed with the other runners. Sometimes runners get so tired that they feel like they can’t even put one foot in front of the other. This urge to stop running is known as “hitting the wall.” It describes an apparently insurmountable physiological barrier that can stop a runner in his tracks, consuming his will to finish the race.

This can also happen in the Christian race. There are times in your life when you’re racing along at top speed and feel like the world is your oyster and then suddenly… wham! You run smack dab into a wall. The world suddenly begins to fall down around you. Your zeal starts to dwindle. Your joy begins to drain, and peace seems to evade you. It’s then that you find yourself just chugging along in the slow lane of life on the verge of giving up. You’ve hit the wall.

Have you ever been there? I certainly have more than once. Therefore, I am keenly aware of the weariness that one feels when the Enemy unleashes a series of assaults on your world. I know all too well the sensations that one can experience when fear and doubt erupts in one’s heart and mine. I know how it feels when all hell seems to break loose against you and life smacks you senseless. It’s the Popeye Syndrome. You remember what Popeye says when he’s pushed to his limits, “That’s all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!” What do you do when you’ve reached your limits when you “can’t stands no more?” What do you do when you hit the wall?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

God has a race marked out for us. It’s a race that is tailor-made just for each of us. It’s a direction, a course, a calling for our life that’s designed in the heart of a loving God.
In addition, there’s also a wall waiting for us on our course. This wall is an interval in our life when our resources dry up, our energy is spent, and we feel like we can’t go on. Like the marathon runner, we come to an apparently insurmountable physiological barrier. Now, what do we do when this happens? How do we push through our walls?

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

In the original Greek, the words “give up” come from a word that literally means “to be faint, to grow weary, to be enfeebled through exhaustion or to be tired out.” It’s the same word used in Hebrews 12:3, “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (NIV)

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)

Godly perseverance is the key to smashing through that wall. We must keep on… keeping on. But most importantly, we must totally depend on God for the victory. Psalm 18:29 says, “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” (NIV)

…for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

The “proper time” in the Greek literally means “a fixed and definite time.” 1 There is a crucial time element involved in this race of ours. A harvest is waiting for us on the other side of each wall we encounter. However, it will only be released to us at the precise time that we choose to persevere, push beyond human endurance, and spring forth into spiritual endurance. “We will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Remember the Dr. Seuss story entitled, Horton Hatches the Egg. In the narrative, Mazie was a very lazy bird. She did not like sitting on eggs. It was boring, and she wanted to see the world. So she asked Horton, a somewhat naive elephant, to sit on her egg while she took a vacation. Horton agrees to egg-sit and stays faithful to the task through the autumn, through the icy cold of winter and into the spring.

Then one day some hunters capture Horton and take him―tree, egg and all―to a circus. He doesn’t like being a captive, but Horton’s slogan was “faithful 100%,” so he would not leave the egg. Eventually the egg hatched, and Horton became the happy mother of a bouncing baby bird.

To me, the moral of this classic story is simple. Don’t get off the nest! Stay in the race, no matter how weary you may feel. Don’t give into the temptation to succumb to the pressures of this world. Your harvest is on the other side of that wall. Be persistent. Keep pushing against that wall. Cowboy up! Become like Popeye and stir up that fight that lies deep inside you. You don’t need a can of spinach; you’ve got the power of the Holy Spirit churning inside you. Release it!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalms 73:26)

It’s not easy pushing through that wall, but anything worthwhile is seldom easy. Remember this when you’re hitting the wall―get your fight up and trust in God to give you the victory. Harvest is on the other side of the wall. So, keep on pushing!

…for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

Walk on
Til fear turns to faith and faith becomes sight
Where strength begins
You’ve got to press on
Move on through the pain
move on to the place
Where weakness ends
Where strength begins*

*Where Strength Begins by Phillips, Craig & Dean from album, Where Strength Begins, Copyright/Label: Label: Star Song

 

 

Slaying Isaac (The Hard Copy)

by The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

*This is the hard copy for my YouTube video of the same tittle.

Genesis chapter 22 describes one of the hardest days in the life of Abraham. God had personally promised him that he and Sarah were going to have a child, but this wasn’t to be your everyday birth. Embodied in Isaac were more than the joys of parenthood. He also carried the promise and the covenant of Almighty God.

What a delight Isaac must have been to Abraham and Sarah when he came into their lives. Looking into his wrinkled little face thrilled the hearts of those old saints. As Isaac grew, Abraham like most fathers, found the most pleasure out of watching his son grow into a young man. In time Isaac became Abraham treasure and he own the old man’s heart.

Then, one day the unthinkable happened. God told Abraham to do something that filled him with sorrow. Had he heard God correctly? Surely, Abraham misunderstood God’s words. Did God really say, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”? (vs. 2 NIV) However, God’s instructions were unmistakable.

 “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love…”

We can only imagine what was going through Abraham’s mind, the pain and confusion that surely gripped his heart. “Isaac is my heart, my treasure. How could I… How could I be expected to do something so unimaginable?” Yet despite the pain and confusion he was suffering, Abraham knew God. They weren’t just casual acquaintances. They were friends­­, close friends. Therefore, he knew that his friend, God, wouldn’t do anything that might harm him.

“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love…”

To Abraham, Isaac was more than his dearly loved son: He was the walking, breathing representation of the covenant between Abraham and God. Would God make such a promise, miraculously present him with a son and then suddenly change His mind?

“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love…”

But, LORD, Isaac carries the Seed of the promise and he’s my only son.

“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love…”

But LORD, this is my son, the child of the covenant, of the promise… my son!

“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love…and slay him.”

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” (John 21:15 NIV)

Is it possible for us to allow something, or someone, to dethrone God in our hearts? Is it possible to let our love and devotion for family and others crowd out our devotion to God? Could we even let the promises that we cling to depose the Promise Giver? Can we allow ministry and the things of the church take God’s rightful place in our hearts? Is it possible for us to become so hyper-religious that we let the things of God replace God, Himself? What’s in your heart?

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ⸺Jesus (Luke 12:34 NIV)

“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” ⸺Jesus (Matthew 16:25 NIV)

“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love… and slay him.”

Are you willing to kill something in order to keep it? Abraham discovered the answer to that question. He found that God didn’t want Abraham’s son; He wanted his heart. He wanted Abraham to return Him to his rightful place⸺the throne of his heart. This was Abraham’s test. Isaac had dethroned God from his father’s heart. Abraham was forced to ask the question. “Who does my heart belong to, the son of the promise or the Promise Giver?”

“Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.” ⸺Jesus (Revelations 2:4 NIV)

Sooner or later every believer is faced with this decision. Will we let the pressures of life, such as careers, family, finances and even church activities, become an Isaac that invades our heart threatening to displace our “first love”? Great reward awaits those who are willing to slay their Isaacs. Blessings immeasurable belong to those who will give God their dearest treasures. Yes, He will bless those who are willing give up that which they love best and allow God top priority in their lives.

Look at God’s response to Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his very best. “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you…”  (Genesis 22: 16-17 NIV)

Do you have an Isaac setting on the throne of your heart? What is eating up your energy and controlling your thought-life? What or whom is consuming your strength, your joy, your peace? Whatever it is, that’s your Isaac. What’s yours? Is it climbing the corporate ladder? Is it obsessing with family or financial problems? What consumes your mind and heart? What are you withholding from the God of Abraham? That’s your Isaac!

“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love… and slay him.”

Don’t you think that it’s time for you to gather the wood, build an altar and slay your Isaacs? Mark this: Obedience in the face of great loss will bring an abundance of blessings and an authority never before imagined.

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” ⸺Jesus (Matthew 6:24 NIV)

 

 

 

by Rod Davis

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” — Jesus (Luke 4:18-19)

Once again you stepped outside                                                                                                              your fortress safe and strong                                                                                                                  and took a chance on loving again                                                                                                          risking more heartache and wrong.

You tried your best to touch someone                                                                                                            to show them you care.                                                                                                                               You gave your all, expressing love                                                                                                                   and laid your spirit bare.

You opened wide your arms of trust                                                                                                        exposing a heart oft abused                                                                                                                          by those who knew little in life                                                                                                              but using and being used.

Hurt, once again you retreat inside                                                                                                               your fortress safe and strong                                                                                                                     and reinforce the battlements                                                                                                                and hide with drawbridge drawn.

Construction seems to never end

as stone is laid on stone.

The walls mount high hiding your pain,

huge walls that you build alone.

But what you use to build your nest

of high and hulking walls

are stones not made of wood or clay,

nor made of rock at all.

The fabric of each bulking stone

you carefully set in place

is made of broken promises,

of tears that stained your face.

The enormous sense of loss you felt,

the investing of yourself,

the kind and honest love you gave

until there was little left

was sadly unheeded and cast aside,

leaving you drained and burned.

You gave your best, your greatest gift,

only to see it spurned.

So, stones of hurt and bitterness

are mounted side by side.

Your fortress seems unscaleable,

as deep inside you hide.

You think, “I’m safe from harm in here

behind my castle walls.

I’ve made sure they can’t be climbed

for I built them wide and tall.”

But, my friend, what you don’t see,

what’s cleverly hidden from view;

These walls were made by someone else.

Your fortress not built by you

No, you were not the architect.

It wasn’t your design,

but simply part of a deadly scheme

conspired in another’s mind.

A twisted and demented soul

devised an evil ploy

to do what he has always done

to rob, to kill and destroy.

These lofty walls don’t make a fort

or refuse where you hide.

Their purpose not to keep pain out

but keep you locked inside.

You’re not alone in this prison veiled

for others are fastened away

behind gray walls of bitterness

where many of them will stay

Locked in by thoughts of hopelessness,

with a warden brutal and cruel

who holds no mercy in his heart

for all those under his rule.

This dungeon cell where they abide

is dark and sad and cold.

Though it may seem safe inside

no freedom does it hold.

But Jesus came to storm those walls,

to set the captive free[1],

to give you life with all its best

blessed with love and liberty[2].

And though at times it hurts to love,

for loving off times brings pain.

We have God’s promise ever sure,

“No labor of love is in vain.” [3]

Only by loving are we most like God[4],

which should be our deepest desire.

It may mean risks, exposing our heart,

but measureless the gain that is ours.

Love, like a muscle, strengthens with use

“No pain, No gain.” We are told.

For only when we empty ourselves

is there room for the treasures love holds.

Choosing to trust still bids risks

when you’ve made the commitment to love,

but the untold gain of loving like God

is forever established above.

For love in motion gives substance to faith;

thus, “faith without works is dead.”[5]

To know why this “love never fails”

our love and our faith must be wed.

As two become one on their wedding night,

and their union produces new life.

So, love in action consummates faith;

bearing fruit like a husband and wife.[6]

Faith expressing itself through love

is the only thing that counts.[7]

For love with legs completes our faith,

and its power floods in like a fount.

There’s no need to build ugly walls.

Let’s pull all the strongholds down,

demolishing fear and every pretense

that tries to usurp the crown[8]

that belongs only to our awesome God

and the truth of victory He’s won.

We endeavor to place every thought

in obedience to His Son.[9]

Are they walls of a fort or a prison strong?

Do you see they are one in the same?

If a refuge you need there’s one to be found

the strong tower of His great name.[10]

So, don’t be afraid to reach out again.

Continue to sow and be sure

God’s promise’s true. Love’s harvest is yours.

You’ll reap if you choose to endure.[11]

As you freely give, you’ll freely receive,

when with love you respond to God’s call.

Love’s sweet pleasures you’ll reap with great joy,

as you bid glad farewell to The Walls.

[1] John 8:3 (NIV on all references)

[2] John 10:10

[3] 1Corinthians 15:58

[4] Ephesians 5:1

[5] James 2:20

[6] Ephesians 5:9

[7] Galatians 5:6

[8] Hebrews 2:9

[9] 2Corinthians 10:5

[10] Psalms 106:8

[11] Galatians 6:9