I was reading the Book of Acts Chapter 2 and the following verses stuck out to me:
"2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
"3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
"4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
At one point in the book and movie entitled, "Heaven Is for Real" by Lynn Vincent and Todd Burpo, Colton Burpo, the son of a small-town Nebraska pastor (Todd Burpo), described the Holy Spirit as "kind of blue."
Now some people say that statement about the color of the Holy Spirit is unbiblical; but is it really? If you think about the hottest fires having changed in color from red and yellow to blue, then that could make sense with regard to the "cloven tongues" that were "like as of fire." Maybe the color of the fire of the cloven tongues was blue. And maybe, just maybe the Holy Spirit does have a type of blue aurora or something.
Jeremiah 20:9 says, "Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name. But His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." Jeremiah clearly had his own type of fiery experience in the Old Testament.
If blue is the hottest kind of fire and the hottest is above what would otherwise be yellow and red (metaphorically mediocre), why wouldn't God want to give us the hottest fire to work with? God wants the best for us, so it stands to reason that He'd want us to have the best "fire" experience to draw us even closer to Him.
But hey, that's just my two-cents.
Here are some points I'd like to share (from the message at my church, New Horizon Church, this past Sunday) with everyone.
Many religions have different views about heaven and/or paradise.
There is no purgatory. No suspended animation.
To be absent from one place is to be present in another place.
No one has a near death experience and comes back.
Consider Paul’s experience as recorded in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.
The only One Who has descended and ascended is Jesus (Proverbs 30:4; John 3:13; Ephesians 4:10).
Heaven is a real place.
The Greek word for place is “topos.”
It is a huge city with streets, animals, etc.
Heaven is really about being with Jesus for eternity.
Jesus is preparing a place for us. God created the world in 6 days and we see all this beauty on Earth today. Just imagine how beautiful heaven will be as it’s been 2,000+ years in the making! (1 Corinthians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 13:12)
All of our questions about this life and the next will be answered. We only see part of the whole now.
How will those who are living today be able to identify Jesus in heaven? We’ll know Him by seeing His scars: the scars on his head, the holes in his hands and feet, and the scar in his side.
Physical death isn’t the end. It’s actually the beginning.
It’s not about us and who we are. It’s all about Who Jesus is and what He has done.
I was reflecting on the dialogue between Bishop T.D. Jakes and author Malcolm Gladwell about using your instincts and facing your various "Goliath" sized challenges in life, and this is what came to mind: Every fighter, every champion needs an opponent or a challenge that is worthy of their time, energy, and focus. You might have a goliath as your opponent. But you don't have to be afraid of it. My first point is this: because of his size, it is very likely Goliath had a certain medical condition related to his pituitary gland that made him slow and blind. Moreover, David had God on his side. So Goliath had more vulnerabilities than we realize if we are simply taking the Biblical account of David vs Goliath at face value.
My second point is that when you go into battle, you plus God makes the majority. You might feel fear at first. But let it not be the antithesis of your faith. Feel the fear and fight on anyway! Maybe your Goliath is entering a new domain or arena in which you are the novice and those around you are experts. Or maybe you are working on a new project for a notable client. Whatever it is, you can be victorious in Christ. Instead of focusing on how small you are, switch your focus to how big our great God is!
(Streamed live on June 24, 2014)
Description: #1 bestselling authors Malcolm Gladwell (THE TIPPING POINT, DAVID AND GOLIATH) and Bishop T.D. Jakes (INSTINCT, REPOSITION YOURSELF) get together to talk about obstacles in life and how they are best overcome.
Moderator: Patrik Henry Bass is an award-winning writer and editor, with an extensive background in publishing covering books, history, lifestyle and popular culture. Bass currently serves as editorial projects director at +ESSENCE Magazine. The Zero Degree Zombie Zone, his first children's book, will be released on August 26, 2014 from +Scholastic.
Trust is believing that someone or something is reliable. Faith is acting on the unseen. Trust + faith = obedience to God. Certain things might not happen the way you want them to, but trust that God has a bigger plan for your life. It is natural to struggle with doubts about what God said that He will do. It is supernatural to go forward with trusting Him anyway. The more you overcome doubts by staying in God's Word and believing what He said, the more your faith with grow. Find me someone whose faith is low and I'll show you someone who simply needs a fresh revelation about Who and how God is.
So will you trust God even when He seems untraceable? Even when He seems the most silent? The teacher does not give out the answers during a test. Otherwise, there would be no point in giving out the test.
When you feel tested and tried, and you don't have a Bible right in front of you, you've got to dig deep and remember what the Lord promised you! Remember that God will neither leave you nor forsake you. He won't allow His righteous children to be moved. Satan wants you to think you are all alone in your suffering. But you are not alone. Christ is with you! "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us" (2 Timothy 2:12). When Job was suffering, his wife told him to curse God and die, but he didn't do that. Don't curse God and lose the life God wants for you! Bless God and live! Give God the glory and the praise and live!
If you worry about what people think, you could get into trouble in trying to please everyone. You can't be pleasing everyone and obeying God in all points at the same time. At some time, something that someone would want you to do will be contrary to what God would have you to do. But we should know that pleasing God is far better than pleasing people. In the context of a relationship with God, He will tell us to do certain things for Him, and He does not tell us that doing those things will be easy. But He will give us the tools and the strength to do them.
Before the flood, Noah and all the people around him had never seen rain before. But Noah had to trust God's word that it would rain. ... Sometimes, we see rain as a bad thing. But rain can also symbolize blessings. ... When God says he will do something for you you have never seen before, will you trust Him or will you just stay with whatever you have been used to in order to get by? Just getting by means living in mediocrity. Mediocrity is not God's best for His royal children. The new thing God wants to do for you has to do with showing you a better way to think, a better way to view things, and a better way to live. The flood did away with the old and it brought about something new. So won't you let God flood your life with His unfailing love? Trust me, you'll be glad you did!
God told Noah to build the ark, and Noah did it. Noah was fully obedient to God.
God told Noah it would rain. (It had never rained before.)
God’s purpose in flooding the earth was not to destroy people, but to destroy wickedness.
It’s possible that Noah had some issues with doubt concerning God sending the flood.
There is often tension between trust and faith. (Doubt comes in between trust and faith.)
Trust – believing that someone or something is reliable.
Faith – acting on the unseen
Trust is the foundation for faith.
Trust and faith lead to obedience (Hebrews 11:7)
Scholars say that in Noah’s time, there were about one million people on Earth. So Noah was “one in a million.”
In Noah’s obedience, he was available.
Our attitude is important. (Our attitude is related to how we see things.)
God does not need what we can do; He needs what He can do through us.
God does not need superstars, just ordinary people.
God wants to use you. Are you available?
Noah walked closely with God. He didn’t care about what the majority of the people did. He dared to stand alone with his convictions.
1 + God = The majority
Conformity to the world’s ways is the enemy of true Christianity.
If you worry about what people think, you could get into trouble in trying to please everyone.
Obedience = love + trust + action
When you overcome doubt, your faith is built up.
A life of obedience starts with choosing to obey one thing.
Jesus is the ultimate example of obedience (Philippians 2:8). He loves us so much that He suffered and died on the cross for us.
God is calling us to be in a relationship with Him. He will tell us to do certain things for Him, and He does not tell us those things will be easy. But He will give us the tools and the strength to do them.
5 days until Kaneika and I tie the knot! Thanks to everyone who has shown us so much love, support, and encouragement throughout this journey! And I'm so thankful to the Lord for being with us every step of the way of this journey so far. And I have no doubt about Him being with us every step of the way going into the future as well! See everyone on Saturday! Go #KandKWedding! =)
Karma says that you will get what you deserve. Christianity, on the other hand, will tell you that Jesus got what we all deserved. Jesus died the kind of death we all should have died, but I'm so glad that after He died in our place, He conquered death, hell, and the grave by rising again. We deserve hell, but when we receive Him as Lord and Savior, although we'll face physical death at some point in time (unless we are alive when Jesus returns for the saints), the second death cannot claim us.
My sins and your sins, and everything that God knew we would mess up on, are messing up now, and will mess up on in the future got nailed to the cross. I fail to do right at times yes, and satan the accuser does his best to point that out, but I know I am forgiven. I am washed in the blood of the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world. I am sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. My name is written in the Lambs Book of Life. As I think about my own upcoming marriage, I am glad about being able to feast at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Are you focusing too much on your present circumstances? Or are you focusing on the bigger picture that Jesus reigns and will reign forever and ever? When the devil tries to remind you of your past, just remind him about his future. We win in Christ!
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.