Holier Than Thou?

I am an avid listener to sports radio. One of the reason I listen to the morning show at WJOX Birmingham is because the hosts make no apologies for their belief in God. Yesterday the subject came up concerning how some people are turned away from the church because of the “holier than thou” attitudes of  so-called believers.  In many churches throughout our land, people are laden with feelings of guilt and preached down to.  For example, “If you don’t change, you’re going to hell! Your mamas’ going to hell, all of you are going to hell!” Here’s a newsflash.  They already know that! That’s why they came, so they could be taught another way. Proverbs 16: 21 says that the sweetness of the lips increase learning.  Jesus never talked down to sinners when they came to Him for help. In fact, they were drawn to Him because of his kindness. He spoke to them on their level and His words lifted them up, healed them, delivered them.  Then He said “Go and sin no more.” Jesus was more harsh on the religious people. Those who claimed the name of God but were far from His heart. I submit that is the real problem. Christians who don’t act  Christ – like.  Have you ever met a mean Christian? Now that’s an oxymoron!

There are many that believe that it is impossible to live right, therefore they don’t even try. Living holy is not walking around like you’re better than everyone else. It’s agreeing with what the Word of God says and aligning your life with what God has said. It does not happen overnight. Truth be told, every believer is struggling in some area, so let’s not act like we’ve been saved all of our lives and never do anything wrong.

Romans 8: 9-10 says if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved. That includes saved from hell. We don’t change our ways to get saved, we change our ways because we are saved. Gone are the days of selling fire insurance at church. Obviously that hasn’t worked.  Let’s show people that the faith walk is a process.  Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little; as we grow in the Word, then we begin to prosper in it.  Let’s offer the sinner and our fellow believers hope instead of doom and gloom. There’s no better opportunity to do this than now, when the harvest is ripe.  

  © Fredrick F. Nicholson  all rights reserved

Preserved By The Word

” The words and promises of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times over. You will keep them and preserve them O Lord…”  Psalms 12: 6-7a (Amplified)

Silver is called a precious metal and is corrosion resistant.  The refining process extracts it in it’s purest form from the ore. It is a meticulous process and the end result is pure silver which is very valuable and can be used as a medium of exchange. The psalmist uses the analogy of refining silver seven times relating to the purity of the Word of God.  Every word and promise from God will come to pass.  He will see to it.  His words are as pure on earth as they are in heaven.

Not only are the words and promises of God pure, but He takes great care in preserving them as well.  To preserve means to keep alive; to prepare as to resist decomposition or fermentation; and also a place set apart for the protection of something. In this perspective, God watches over His Word to ensure that it is performed. How does He do this?  He assigns angels whose sole job is to hearken to the voice of the Word (Psalms 103:20 KJV). His Word is kept alive and maintained and will accomplish that which it is set out to do. It’s like that jar of preserves that your grandmother used to make. They are meticulously made, preserved with sugar, jarred, and sealed with purified (boiling) water to keep the air out. .

Not only does He preserve His Word but His Word is also a preserve for those who operate in it.  You’ve heard of those protected areas of land sometimes called “wildlife preserves”. These are designated habitats of certain species of animals that are protected by law. It is illegal to hunt there. Some species are protected wherever you may find them and it is illegal to kill them.  This is the position of a believer who is protected by the parameters of the Word of God. As long as you operate by what God has said, you are not subject to the decomposition of your life. It is His Word, both written and spoken, that protects the believer from Satan, whose job description is to steal from you, kill you, and destroy you.  He wants you out of the earth, because you cannot recruit for the Kingdom of God outside of the earth realm. 

Psalms 91 talks about dwelling in the “secret place” of the most high, abiding under His shadow. Jesus said if you abide in me, and I in you, you can ask what you will and it shall be done unto you.  Jesus is the Word and does nothing that His Father has not signed off on.  As a result, our close relationship with God and His Word causes us to say with confidence:

The Lord is my refuge, my fortress, My God, in Him will I trust. Surely He will deliver me!”

© Fredrick F. Nicholson  all rights reserved

Imagination: A Timeless Gift

God created man in His image and after his likeness.  What is an image?  It  is a mental picture, a snapshot, if you will.  An image is also a physical representation of something.  When you look at a photograph, you have something physical in your hand that is a representation of someone or something.  Not only is mankind a representation of God, but man has at least one God like quality: a limitless imagination. 

A person who can imagine accomplishing anything cannot be stopped. You may recall the Bible story of the Tower of Babel. In that instance, the people got together and decided to build a tower that could reach to heaven. What a silly concept, so it would seem.  But it was real to them.  They saw it in their minds, they were unified in purpose, and they had a plan of action. It didn’t matter that no one had done it before, they would be the first. No one had seen heaven, but they would be the first. They were so determined to see their dreams made a reality and were committed to stick with the task until they saw what they imagined. The Bible says they would have accomplished their task if God hadn’t stopped them:

“And the Lord said, behold, the people is one, and they all have one language; and this they began to do: and now nothing will be retrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”  Genesis 11:6 (KJV)  (bold for emphasis)

God  himself had to come down and confound their language so they couldn’t understand one another to stop the building process. How powerful is your imagination? What can you imagine to do?  I submit to you that if you can imagine it, you can do it. No one can take your imagination from you. In your mind, you can travel the world over, and stay a while!  If you’ve ever watched a good movie or read a good book, you know what I mean. It was good to you because in your mind you were there with the characters. You were engrossed in the plot and in their lives. You knew it was just a movie, but you went anyway.  Imagine doing something you’ve always wanted to do.  Start a business, change careers, get a degree, find a cure for cancer, nothing will be restrained from you. If someone is going to do it, why not you! Who says you can’t live in an upscale neighborhood? Who says you can’t drive that type of car? God doesn’t mind you living like a King, he’s the King of Kings.  That’s where you got the idea. God’s concern is your motives.  The people building the tower only wanted a name for themselves.  Their thoughts and plans were not agreeable to his will.  Make sure your thoughts and plans are, and imagine big.  The truth is, God can do infinitely beyond what you can ever imagine or think.  Beyond your highest thoughts, hopes, plans and dreams. So go ahead and dream.  It doesn’t cost you a thing.  Your imagination is free!

© Fredrick F. Nicholson all rights reserved

An Interview With Jesus

We interrupt this program to bring you an exclusive interview. The man with us today is known as the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Rose of Sharon, Lillie of the valley, Bright and Morning Star, Mary’s Baby, Savior of the World , Son of God, let’s welcome Jesus Christ!  (applause , applause)

It’s an Honor to have you with us Lord.

I am delighted to be here.

What would you say is the one thing that disappoints you the most about our world?

What I am most disappointed about is the fact that many of my children, those who believe in me, have become complacent or satisfied with less than what I paid for. When I gave my life on Calvary, I paid the price for sin, sickness, disease, poverty, lack, everything that mankind inherited because of Adam’s sin.  When my Father raised me from the dead, all power had been given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Power to overcome sickness, disease, lack, poverty, insufficiency, even death. Now they have been reconnected to my Father and to his original purpose for their lives: to be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue, and dominate the earth. But they are not taking advantage of what is available to them.  Many believe that because a certain disease runs in their family, they are destined to have to deal with it. They think that where they are now is all they’ll ever see in life regarding their finances. Some even think they don’t deserve anything because they keep letting me down. To them I say this.  If you are in me and I in you, my Father no longer sees you through your human frailties.  He looks at the scars on my back when I was beaten.  He looks at the wound in my side, the nailprints in my hands and feet.  He sees the scars from the crown of thorns slammed onto my head.  And every time Satan brings forth a warrant for your arrest, my Father dismisses the case against you because of me.  I’d tell them to read Isaiah 53:11, and there are many other references in the Bible that will help them.  My Father wants me to tell them that He has a covenant with them and He always keep his promises. However, they will not be aware of what the covenant says if they don’t spend time going over the warranty (the Bible). I must go now, but always remember I know each one of you.  Your names are engraved in the palms of my Father’s hands according to Isaiah 49:16.

James jumped as if he had been startled and opened up his eyes. He had fallen asleep on the couch where he had been reading his Bible.  At first he was embarrassed having fallen asleep during his prayer time, but started to remember what  he had been reading.  He found his place which read:

“He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities.”   Isaiah 53:11

 © Fredrick F. Nicholson all rights reserved

Credits: Special thanks to “The Acts of Life” Drama Ministry of New life Interfaith Ministries for the inspiration for today’s devotional.


Itchy Trigger Finger

Whenever I visit my mother-in-law in South Carolina, I spend a lot of time watching westerns on satellite TV.  You can literaly watch all day if you want to.  I used to watch all the  hit western TV shows as a child like The Rifleman, The Big Valley, Rawhide, Bonanza, etc. There are also some good old cowboy pictures as well which my father-in-law particularly enjoys.  These shows usually have a couple things in common.  There’s a villain and then there’s the good guy.  Sometimes the villain actually enjoys looking for a gunfight.  He walks into the saloon with his ten gallon hat cocked to one side, his six-shooter strapped on and waits for someone to cross him so he can challenge them to a gunfight.  Maybe he was just mean.  Maybe he was having a “bad day”. Maybe he just wanted to prove he was the fastest gun.  He targets his victim and stands up.  The crowd in the saloon begins to part like the Red Sea. He approaches his prey and yells “Draw”! The slightest movement by his sacrificial lamb triggers an automatic reaction in this incorrigible human.  He fires before  his victim can even raise his gun. Unfortunately, many believers behave the same way towards others.  If we’re having a “bad day”, we’re quick to take it out on someone.  Have you ever been so irritated that you’re just waiting on someone to say something cross to you so you can let them have it! It’s like walking around with a loaded gun and an itchy trigger finger. 

 What? You forgot the fries in my order? Pow!!   

You cut me off in traffic?  Peoww!!  

Oh no you didn’t say that to me!  Pop pop pop! 

Even in this financially and emotionally turbulent time, we who carry the image of Christ must work hard to be the examples we were redeemed to be.  When a Christian acts like the villain in the western, we actually come off looking like Barney Fife and misfiring. We look and feel awkward because our minds have been changed since we put on Christ. The work of the Lord mentioned in 1Corinthians 15:58 is not just working in the church.  It’s work and labor just to keep from doing what your flesh feels like doing. It’s work not to let circumstances and situations move you and get you off course.The Apostle Paul faced uncertainty on his way to Jerusalem, not knowing what was waiting for him there.  Would he be beaten again or killed, he didn’t know.  His response was:

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God”.  Acts 20:24 (KJV)

Let’s not let things move us off of  the path of God. Let’s let our lives testify of the grace of God.  Besides, we are the marketing department for the Kingdom of God.   Work the word and keep this on your lips: “None of these things move me.” 

Here’s a Canton Jones video that might help you. 

© Fredrick F. Nicholson all rights reserved

Have You Lost Hope?

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost”  Romans 15: 13 (KJV)

God is a God of hope.  Hope is based on an expected outcome.  This is not the first time in history for uncertainty in the economic climate, and it probably won’t be the last.  God has already provided a solution that is available to everyone that believes on Him.  He wants to fill you with joy and peace, those intangible states of being that distinguish the weak from the strong. It marks the difference between those that take their ball and go home, and those that persevere.  Joy and peace are not circumstance controlled, but you have to work hard to maintain them.  It is undisturbed composure in the midst of a trying situation that demonstrates joy and peace.  How do you get to that point in your faith walk?

Since God is a God of hope and you were created in his image, you are capable of hope.  Hope is not wishing for anything.  I wish that I could play the lottery one time and one time only, hitting it for the jackpot! However, I have no expectation of really winning anything. I have no inside information that increases my chances (just an illiustration LOL) !  The believer’s  hope lies in just that –  b-e-l-i-e-v-i-n-g!  Here’s a definition of believing you probably never heard, but it rings true.  To believe means to zero out anything contrary to the Word of God on any given subject. Reduce it to a value of zero when held up against what God has said. My money may be tight, but I zero that fact out, when held up against the truth. God said because I give, it will be given unto me… I may feel sick, but God said by the stripes of Jesus I am healed! God’s Word is powerful and as believers we have a covenant with Him. Since God cannot lie, He must do whatever it takes to make His Word come pass. Knowing this, we are well supplied and filled with hope.  Saints we have inside information!! What Red Sea in your life needs to be parted? What Pharoah is holding you hostage after the Lord has said, “Let My People Go?  If it takes one plague, ten plagues, or one hundred plagues, God must make His word good. 

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”  Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)


© 2009 Fredrick F. Nicholson all rights reserved