Thursday, June 14, 2007

“Christianity or Churchianity - Which are You a Part of?”

Looking at the title, some may say, “What’s the difference?” That is exactly what concerns me. They THINK they are part of Christianity when, in truth, they are really only part of a church. Today, we are going to briefly look at both and make sure we are part of Christianity, and not just part of a church (churchianity). You can find people who are a part of churchianity in any denomination (including yours)!!!

This devotion has been inspired by the answer I have often heard when this subject comes up. I’ve heard this answer when I lived in the North and in the South. It is sometimes worded a little differently, but basically the same answer. The typical question I ask when I am told about a dying person or a serious situation in a person’s life, “ARE THEY SAVED?” The typical answer I get is, “Oh yes, he goes to church every week.” My question back to them is, “BUT IS HE SAVED?” Often the person I’m talking with thinks I’m nuts for asking, after all they just told me this person goes to church. I then explain that just because someone goes to church doesn’t make them a Christian anymore than swimming makes me a fish.

May you also understand there is a vast difference between a churchgoer and Christian. I believe EVERY Christian should be part of a church and not be in disobedience to the Word of God (Heb.10:25). To be a church, doesn’t mean you have to meet in a building with a steeple on it, it could mean that you are meeting in a home or storefront as a newly planted church. Christians should go to a local church, but just because you go to church doesn’t mean you are a Christian.

What is Churchianity? - It is when someone is a part of a church, may even be very active, sing in the choir, or be an elder or deacon in the church. He is likely proud of his church (and likely his denomination). He may have mastered all the “Christian lingo,” yet he has not ever personally accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

What is Christianity? - Christianity is made up of individuals who have come to a realization individually that they are a sinner in need of a Savior, who is Jesus Christ. They repent of their wretched sinful state before God, and accept the Death/Burial/Resurrection of Jesus on the cross to wash away their sins and to make them a new creation. They also give Jesus control of their lives as LORD and SAVIOR. Christians are followers of Christ (Christlike). That’s a basic overview of what makes one a Christian and, thus, part of Christianity.

Many today are saying, "I'm of this ministry" or "I'm of this denomination," sounding a lot like I Cor. 1:12,13 - "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. v.13 - Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" To be a part of a ministry or denomination is fine (most of us are) UNLESS IT'S ABOVE JESUS IN YOUR LIFE. In that case, you are part of churchianity and NOT Christianity.

I would like to close with what I consider a very sobering passage of scripture. Matthew 7:21-23 - "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

A person can say the right thing, even say “LORD, LORD,” and yet NOT be SAVED (a Christian). Christianity involves obeying our Heavenly Father!

It says that MANY will say, we "prophesied," "cast out demons" and "did many wonderful works (i.e., miracles)" all "IN THY NAME." God’s answer to all this will be, "I NEVER KNEW YOU." Never in the Greek means "not even at any time." These were people who were NEVER saved! Sobering thought!!!

In closing:

I believe there are some out there reading this who have been part of churchianity (maybe all your life), but today God is calling you to receive Him as your Lord and Savior and become part of Christianity. Others of you who are reading this know people who are not true Christians, they may even go to church but they are not saved. I pray God will help you to minister Christ to them. We have a mission field in and outside of the Church walls, may the deception of churchianity be broken in lives of many church goers, so they can truly come to a true knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

If you are a Pastor/Minister, I urge you to do your part in breaking the power of churchianity over many that may be sitting in your own congregations.

We really are living in critical times, no time to waste!

Please take this message seriously,
and may we be used of God to make an
eternal difference for the Kingdom of God!

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all,
Jim (

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Many Faces of God

“The Many Faces of God”

What does God look like to you?

What is your image when you think about God?

I believe that many of us have visual images and beliefs of God that are not Biblical.

We often refer to God as our heavenly Father – which is good and correct, but we often go wrong in our view of what our heavenly Father is like.

Some look at Him, as a constantly “disciplining God.” While He does have to correct us and discipline us (Hebrews 12:6-8), seeing Him too often in this way is not a balanced picture of God.

Seeing God as a constantly ANGRY, MEAN, MAD, and even a DISCIPLINING God (24/7) is not the picture I believe we should have of our heavenly Father.

I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but I do believe many people get their image of God from their example in an earthly father.

While I have a good dad, he wasn't perfect; and as much as I love and respect him, I believe it is good that my image of my heavenly Father is better than anything my natural father could have been to me.

Some people have had earthly fathers who abandoned them, abused them, mistreated them, were critical of them, etc., and as a result, some people see their heavenly Father the same.

We must base our beliefs of our heavenly Father from what the Bible tells us about Him.

In the Bible, JEHOVAH (LORD) means most likely the self-existent one (I am who I am or I am the One who is) and denotes God's personal name and His eternality. It is often used in relationship to God as redeemer and covenant keeper.

In this we see the different attributes and characteristics of the LORD revealed. The following are just some of those Old Testament Jehovah compound names:

Jehovah Jireh means “the LORD provides" (Genesis 22:14).

Jehovah Rapha means “the LORD who heals" (Exodus 15:26).

Jehovah Shalom means “the LORD is peace" lack of tension, conflict and strife in God (Judges 6:24).

Jehovah Nissi means “the LORD is my banner" or “God my Standard of Victory" and signifies that the battle is the Lord's (Exodus 17:15).

Jehovah Tsidkenu means “the LORD our righteousness," God is the source of our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6).

Jehovah Raah means “the LORD our Shepherd" and denotes our Shepherd who tenderly leads us, loves us and will keep us safe (Psalm 23:1).

Jehovah Shammah means “the Lord is present,” God’s abiding presence. Thus he will not abandon you. He will stay, not to just visit (Ezekiel 48:35).

In the New Testament I would like to share a few scriptures that tell us what God is like in relation to us, who have accepted Jesus into our lives as SAVIOR and LORD.

Jesus is the image (Phil. 2:6 Col. 1:14-16) of our heavenly Father.

We can learn about our heavenly Father by LOOKING AT JESUS.

Oh, how Jesus (God) LOVES you and me (John 3:16)!

Our hearts should cry “ABBA” meaning father, or more closely “daddy (or “papa”).
It conveys, “tenderness, dependence, and a relationship free from fear or anxiety.”
God is that one perfect father – daddy! This has always ministered to my heart. (See Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6)

In conclusion, can you see God as a laughing God?

A few years ago, I saw a picture of Jesus laughing, and honestly I thought it was almost irreverent. I don’t feel that way now! I believe there can be healing in seeing God LAUGHING. I’m sure some of you just have a hard time picturing that. Let me help you by having you go a picture of Jesus laughing.

NOTE: Jesus Laughing is found on many sites, but it's official site is at:

How about a compassionate, crying Jesus?

I have always found this picture touching and just an incredible picture.
To see this picture go to my website:

How about a God who isn’t hurting us, but is PROTECTING us? You can see that on my website. Go tomy website: (hands of God).
Praise the LORD many have been touched by this picture over the years.

I believe a picture speaks a THOUSAND words (or more) and these pictures WILL minister to many of you – AMEN for that!

But even these great pictures are pale images in the face of an eternal God who loves us even beyond anything we can even picture. It’s even beyond human comprehension – Such a wonderful, loving God!!!

For this devotion with MANY MORE TOUCHING PICS go to:

Do you have a negative view of God?

If so, I pray that the LORD, through this devotion, and more importantly through the pages of the Bible, will open your eyes to see Him as the wonderful, loving God He really is!

In His Service,
Jim (

Also please let people know about our sites:

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Is It Right to Judge?

Main text: Matthew 7:1-5 & John 7:24

Jesus is instructing us against engaging in hypocritical judgment.

In Matthew, Jesus tells us "Do not judge, or you too will be judged…" Possibly the most misquoted scripture in the Bible. People pull this scripture out of context AND never quote the many other scriptures on scriptural judging.

Let's first look at Matthew 7:1-5.
Let's not stop at verse 1 but read on. This passage includes significant detail later in the verse, "FIRST take the plank out of your own eye, THEN you will see clearly to REMOVE the speck from your brother's eye."

In John’s Gospel, Jesus is more succinct. First, He tells us what is unacceptable and then He tells us what is acceptable. "…Stop judging by mere appearances (unacceptable), and make a right judgment (acceptable)" (John 7:24).

So you think we’re "NOT TO JUDGE"? Let's go on!
Jesus taught men to judge rightly, insisting they “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24) and He praised a man who “rightly judged” (Luke 7:43).

Paul shamed the Corinthian Christians because no one among them was willing to “judge the smallest matters” (1Cor. 6:2). As the Apostle Paul wrote, “He who is spiritual judges all things” for “we have the mind of Christ” (1Cor. 2:15-16).

We must let God’s word JUDGE people and then, based on the WORD (BIBLE), we must then speak His Word in LOVE - ALWAYS IN LOVE).

Jesus taught men to judge rightly, insisting they “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24) and He praised a man who “rightly judged” (Luke 7:43).
Paul shamed the Corinthian Christians because no one among them was willing to “judge the smallest matters” (1Cor. 6:2). As the Apostle wrote, “He who is spiritual judges all things” for “we have the mind of Christ” (1Cor. 2:15-16).

Now let's look at some things that the WORD OF GOD judges, and when we agree with the WORD, we are not really judging people, but God's Word is judging them.

1Cor.6:9 states: "Make no mistake about it: those who lead immoral lives, or worship idols, or who are adulterers, homosexuals of any kind, or thieves, exploiters, drunkards, gossips or embezzlers will NOT inherit the kingdom of heaven."

Gal.5:19-21 it states: "Immorality, impurity and shamelessness (sensuality), idol worship and magic, ambition, division, factious, and envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like. I again say to you what I have already said: those who do these things shall NOT inherit the kingdom of God."

Rev.21:8 it states: As for cowards, faithless, depraved, murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, liars, THEIR PLACE is the lake of burning sulfur(or lake of fire). This is the second death."

In all these sins it is not a one time incident that is repented of, but a way of life (repeated).

Judging is proper ONLY when done from a right heart (free of plank/2x4 plus in Christ’s LOVE) and based on God’s Word (Bible) as our standard.

So let's be bold enough (in LOVE) to judge sin as sin.
Based on the Holy Bible as our standard.

Have a Jesus blessed day!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Seeing the Big Picture" by Os Hillman

I didn't write this one but it was so good I wanted to share it with you all:

.."Everything is against me!" - Genesis 42:36

Eventually, Benjamin along with Jacob's other sons learned that their brother Joseph was second in command in Egypt. Joseph revealed his identity, and Jacob was reunited with his son whom he had not seen for more than 13 years. He had thought Joseph to be dead.

So often we believe our dreams are dead. There seems to be nothing left in our world to live for. Everything appears to be against us. During these times, God is doing His deepest behind-the-scenes work. During these times, God is performing a deeper work in each of us-a work that cannot be seen.

When clients began leaving my ad agency and it dried up for no apparent reason, it appeared "everything was against me." I could not see that God was orchestrating a whole new calling on my life. At the moment, it seemed like the worst thing in the world. It seemed that I had been a failure. But God said, "No." All the years before had been preparation for what God's ultimate calling would be. One of God's methods for directing His children's steps is through drying up resources: a job loss, a career change, or a disaster. In these times we are willing to listen more intently, and to seek God in ways we would not normally do. C.S. Lewis once wrote, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." [C.S.Lewis, The Problem of Pain, 93.]

In His Service,
Jim (